New Year’s Resolution for Writers—Get Published! Go from writer to published author this year or further your publishing career by following these tips from a publishing professional.
Have you always wanted to be a published author, someday? Why not make it your New Year’s resolution—a literary agent tells you how.
There are all sorts of paying markets for everything from short pieces to full-length books. But you can’t switch from wanna-be writer to published author unless you have something to sell–and this means you’ve got to get writing. Here are some tips:
—Get started now. Don’t wait for “someday.” Actually beginning to write something is the biggest obstacle for most people. Once you’re involved in a project, it gets much easier, but that first sentence, first page, first paragraph are usually the hardest, even for published pros.
—Turn off your inner critic. It doesn’t matter if your first words are good. It just matters that you get some down on paper or keyboarded into your computer. You can always rewrite them later—in fact, it is likely that you will want to. But for the time being, just write. Give yourself permission to write badly, if that is what it takes to get the words flowing.
—Write regularly. Schedule appointments with yourself to sit down and write. It doesn’t have to always be the same time of day and it doesn’t even have to be every day. Do not let a week go by without actually writing something, however. Look at your busy schedule and find one or more time slots that you can dedicate to writing, even if it is just 15 minutes per sitting. Some people get up a little earlier before work while the house is still quiet and their mind is fresh. Others are night owls who get creative at the end of the evening when the family is asleep. Discover what works for you.
—Set up a dedicated writing space. Assign yourself a spot for that purpose, even if it is just a tiny folding table in the back corner of your laundry room.
—Quiet, please! Shut the door to outside noise. It is probably best to avoid all potential distractions such as TV, radio, recorded music. (Perhaps multi-tasking by doing a load of laundry would mask outside noise to your writing corner.) Ask your family not to interrupt you during your writing time unless it’s an emergency.
—Start small. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of beginning an entire book, start with an article. If a full-length article seems too hard, start with something shorter, like a letter to the editor for your local newspaper. The important thing is to get started.
—Create your mindset. Know that if you have the desire to get published, you will find the means. Make it your New Year’s resolution to get published!
Copyright 2006 by Barbara Doyen. All rights reserved.